Arp.exe stands for Address Resolution Protocol command. The latter serves for transferring Internet layer to link layer addresses. The file is essential in tracking user's mac address when only IP address is known. Additionally, the file helps to communicate two computers connected to the same LAN network. The file can also be used for statistical purposes.
Other usage methods of arp.exe
As the file helps maintain the connection between the devices, naturally, the file might be exploited for malicious purposes. Cyber criminals have devised the technique called ARP poisoning or ARP spoofing. By flooding the target computer with fake MAC address requests, a perpetrator might gain access to another device. However, perpetrators' capabilities are limited to the number of devices visible on the network.
Furthermore, a cyber criminal needs access to one of the participants of ARP protocol exchange to get further access to other devices. ARP spoofing also helps direct the traffic of a targeted device to the one monitored by the felon.
Usually, this technique includes man-in-the-middle participation and functions as the initial stage for broader attacks, for instance, DDoS (distributed-denial-of-service) attack.
ARP poisoning prevention tips
Every operating system, may it be Windows or Linux OS, are programmed to detect this type of hacking technique. For instance, in the case of Linux, it blocks uncertified requests, nonetheless, it compares the cache file with other members of ARP exchange process. Unfortunately, if other devices are monitored by the hacker, then such prevention results in the hijack as well.
Windows OS users can configure ARP processes with the assistance of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters, ArpCacheLife, ArpCacheMinReferenceLife, ArpUseEtherSNAP, ArpTRSingleRoute, ArpAlwaysSourceRoute, and ArpRetryCount and registry entries.
Since the technique has quite a few limitations, it is not highly popular among hackers, but nonetheless, you should be wary of it. Fortunately, there are a number of malware prevention tools which secure netizens from such virtual felonies. In order to strengthen the overall security of the system, update both, your anti-virus and malware elimination utilities.
Ways to terminate arp.exe
In case you have noticed shady activities on the device or arp.exe consumes quite a large amount of CPU memory resources, it is time to take countermeasures. Install Reimage or Malwarebytes and run the scan. The software will be able to determine the origin of the file and terminate unauthorized access. You can also cancel its command with the assistance of Task Manager. Find its task, right-click on it and choose “End Task.